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CNN Today

Laura Bush: Confederate Flag 'Not a Symbol of Racism to Me'

Aired January 20, 2000 - 2:25 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: The wife of Republican front-runner George W. Bush is saying more than her husband about the controversial question in an important primary state. The state, South Carolina, where an estimated 40,000 people marched to the capital Monday, to demand the removal of the Confederate flag. Opponents say it is racist.

Here's what Mrs. Bush had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAURA BUSH: It is not a symbol of racism to me. I grew up in the South, like everyone else here in Texas. And it's just a symbol of the time in our history that we can't erase really: the Civil War and, you know, there's just -- that's the symbol of the Civil War, I think.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATERS: About the most her husband has said is: The flag dispute is a matter for South Carolina to decide on its own. On the other hand, Republican John McCain has said, at different times, that the Confederate flag symbolizes both racism and Southern heritage. McCain is hoping to follow a possible win in New Hampshire with an upset victory in South Carolina February 19.

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